Welcome to the first post at the new blog location! Now that my webhome is established I can start posting more regularly. Geek on! 😎
Sebastien Martin of the Exploratorium has been working with what you can do with light traces — basically, tracing out the motion of something through space using light (say, by attaching an LED to the object and taking a time-lapse picture of it) for a while. He did some stuff with the science of baseball showing the path of a baseball through space, and has also posted some great pix on Flickr. Here is what he says about how to make these traces:
You can use any small light source to make the trace of a moving object visible (bicycle light, flash light, key light). Just attach the light to the object, and make sure the room is completely dark. Then take a long exposure picture of the moving light using your Digi Cam.
It’s also fun to go further and analyze the speed of the object! To do that, use a fast blinking LED light (such as the Inova pulsed LEDs you can buy at Target Stores for $7). The distance between the dots is a measure of speed.
In fact, Sebastien’s whole Flickr library is a source of amazingly creative science stuff.
(photo from Sebastien Martin)